"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of
this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
In a battle, it is imperative to identify your
enemy. If you are not aware of the point of your attack, you are
vulnerable. Paul had many enemies. Some resented him,...
others hated him, and others wanted to kill him. Some, who were
supposedly on his side, sought to harm him and his ministry (Acts 9:23;
Phil. 1:17; 2 Tim. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 4:14). In spite of the
persecution he faced, Paul never lost sight of his real enemy. Paul was
wary of Satan. When people attacked him, he knew they were not his real
opponents. They were simply unwitting instruments of the spiritual
forces of darkness.
When you meet opposition to your faith,
your first reaction may be anger toward your antagonist. This may divert
your attention from the deeper, spiritual dimensions of your conflict.
Your adversary may be hopelessly in to sin. Rather than retaliating, you
should immediately and earnestly intercede for that person. Your
opponent’s hostility is your invitation to become involved in God’s
redemptive work to free him or her from spiritual .
Be alert to
the spiritual warfare around you. It is real and potentially
destructive to you and those you care about. Knowing your real foe will
protect you from bitterness and unforgiveness. Your hope lies in the
reality that "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”
(1 John 4:4). Do not place your hope in humanity, but steadfastly trust
in the One who has already defeated your enemy.